Watching WordPress cofounder, Matt Mullenweg deliver his annual State of the Word at WordCamp US on Saturday afternoon from Nashville there was little question that Gutenberg is the future of legal publishing.

Beginning with the WordPress text editor (unchanged for a decade till now) released this week with WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg will ultimately impact the entire publishing experience, including customization of our publications. 

Gutenberg will empower lawyers, law firms, law students, law professors, and organizations throughout our legal profession to do everything, and more, that traditional publishers have done.

A law firm, law school or court could take control of their own publishing on WordPress based platforms and out perform the likes of Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis and Bloomberg.

Gutenberg delivers a “block” publishing experiencing that enables users you to create as rich a post layout as one can can imagine and even build their own themes. WordPress developers expect to transform WordPress into something users love, as opposed to something they use because everyone else does.

Gutenberg will get us to look at the editor as more than a content field. We’ll look at the editing field as place for design, font treatment, art, photography, layout and inclusions from video, and audio to other technology.

Lest one think that’s just for websites, digital publishers ranging from The New Yorker to The Athletic blend design, layout and fonts to make for a more attractive reading experience.

WordPress is approaching near ubiquitous status in publishing with 70% of sites with a content management system (CMS) using WordPress. Gutenberg is only going to further fuel WordPress open source developers around the world that much more.

Proprietary software providers, no matter how large or well funded, are no match for WordPress development today. They’ll lag even further behind WordPress with the advent of Gutenberg. 

Sure, WordPress is not perfect. No advanced legal tech solution is. But the use, momentum, development community and passion within the WordPress community is going to bring us all the future of legal publishing. 

  • shg

    If you have all day to futz with a post, and fancy yourself a designer rather than a lawyer, or even a writer, and don’t mind the weeks required to figure out how to use Gutenberg, it may be fabulous once they work the bugs out.

    But I’m just a lawyer. I can’t dedicate my life to figuring out how to use Gutenberg and have no need to pretend I’m a website designer for every post. I just want to write. This isn’t my future of legal publishing.

    • I get it, and the degree that one will customize posts will depend on their desire to do so. Much of what Gutenberg was built for goes beyond simple blog posts.

      I have been using Gutenberg the last couple months as part of our testing merely to publish plain text posts just as I always have. Took me a couple posts to adjust to subtle changes in the text editor, but I now like the look, simplicity and what feels like a faster interface in Gutenberg.

      For law firms and organizations they are likely to take advantage of Gutenberg in more significant ways to take greater control of their publishing.